Carbs for muscle gain

Carbs for Muscle Gain | Top 7 things to Keep an Eye On

since dietary protein plays a major role in muscle building, the term carbs for muscle gain does not sound right but let me tell you carbs are also very important for muscle building, especially during intense gym sessions.

The drug-free muscle training program relies heavily on the human hormone insulin. insulin work along with thyroid hormones to produce growth factors that build muscle. since insulin is released in response to what we eat especially carbohydrates so certainly carbs for muscle gain become a topic of interest. the type of carb we take into our body could make or break our entire plan or building muscles.


Carbs or carbohydrates are food component that is the direct source of energy for the body. The simplest of carbohydrates is simple glucose which is also known as a monosaccharide. mankind can isolate sugar to use in processed foods. two simple sugars are bonded to form disaccharides and many monosaccharides either chained or branched are called polysaccharides. these polysaccharides are in the form of starch in our food and these are stored in our body as glycogen.

Dietary fibers are also forms of carbohydrates that are different from starch and glycogen. these are also termed complex carbs in nutritional terms. Food enzymes are unable to break down these so they pass through undigested.


All the carbohydrates are needed to be converted into simple sugars during the digestion of food for their absorption in the bloodstream. These sugars once absorbed in the bloodstream are a source of energy for body cells, especially muscles. But for athletes and muscle builders use of carbs for muscle gain depends on the glycemic index of that source of carbs rather than the type of sugar it contains.


while taking carbs the most important thing to keep in mind is the glycemic index. now the question is what is the glycemic index.

The Glycemic index is a ranking of foods based on their influence on blood glucose levels. the glycemic index ranks different food on a scale from 0 to 100. foods that release glucose immediately have a high glycemic index and those that do not digest immediately to elevate glucose levels are ranked low on the scale.


Knowledge of glycemic is very important for bodybuilders as it provides basic and necessary information about what carbs to eat at what time. It allows a muscle builder to naturally manipulate insulin levels thus energy production and nutrient supply to our muscles.

When to take high GI carbs for muscle gain?

Carbs for Muscle Gain
Carbs for Muscle Gain

Now the basic question here is when to turn to a high GI carb diet? As blood flow to the muscle is very efficient post workouts and glycogen synthesis Is at its peak so the use of high glycemic index carbs is very good for muscle growth and fat loss, so the selection of high GI carbs 3 hours post-workout is very critical. Here are top carbs for muscle gain with a high glycemic index for post-workout meals.

  • white rice
  • white bread
  • sugared dairy products
  • cereals and cookies
  • potato
  • fruits rich in natural sugars such as watermelon, pineapple, mango, etc

When to take Low GI carbs for muscle gain?

low glycemic index carbs for muscle gain are used during a resting condition when slow digestion is intended and the primary focus is to fill the gut rather than energy production. Low GI carbs produce low and constant insulin levels in the body. periodic intake of low glycemic index food is very effective to maintain constant insulin levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and transfer of nutrients to muscles.. here are some carbs for muscle gain with low GI to use for the rest of  21 hours.

  • fibers rich fruits
  • legumes
  • vegetables
  • whole grains

Common Mistakes athletes make

One of the common mistakes that athletes make is they consider all starch the same but in reality, it is quite the opposite. consider an example of rice, White rice has a glycemic index of 95 and is considered a source of quick energy post workouts and is very much a staple for every muscle builder in 3 hours post-training. but other breeds of rice like basmati rice has a GI of 45. so some athlete makes the mistake of choosing the right type of rice at the right time, so athletes and bodybuilders need to know

the GI ratings of food that they are taking in.

secondly use of lemon, vinegar and other citrus juices along with high GI carbs could turn them into low GI carbs so keep an eye on that. This could minimize the benefit of high GI foods post workouts.

Similarly, pasta made with wheat flour is of high glycemic index and if consumed during the resting phase could result in fat accumulation rather than muscle. so a good alternative for pasta in the resting phase is pasta made with semolina flour which has a low glycemic index.


  • A mixed meal is a combination of vegetables, salads, and proteins in the resting phase that has a low GI rating it will maintain good insulin levels and is good for fat loss and muscle gain
  • A meal comprising of high GI carbs is good for a post-workout diet that will help develop muscle fast.
  • A meal comprising of fats is slow digesting which is due to poor absorption, this type of meal will deposit fats rather than muscle and is not a good choice meal for muscle gain.

7 Things to know for muscle gain

  1. Know your body and daily routine.
  2. Know what you are eating at what phase.
  3. Keep yourself hydrated.
  4. Don’t skip your proteins.
  5. Consume your carbs by their GI need.
  6. Design a good resistance training program.
  7. Be patient and stick to your regime, results will come.


Since proteins are major contributors to muscle building, muscle growth is realistically impossible without a high protein diet, but still, the role of carbs for muscle gain can also not be denied. The use of good carbs at right time is necessarily very important for muscle growth. The use of high GI carbs post-training and low GI carbs in rest conditions is key for muscle nutrition and building. So good carbs for muscle gain are the right carbs consumed at the right time.

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